Several left-wing elected officials have called for changes to the regulations, which would allow golf courses to continue watering their greens, even on their highest level of drought alert.
As France goes through a drought that the government has described as “historic,” golf courses are in the crosshairs of some elected officials on the left. Despite the lack of water, most of them are already allowed to continue to irrigate their land. A case denounced in particular by the environmental mayor of Grenoble Eric Peul. “Why can we water golf courses when everyone is short of water? You can say it makes no senseThe green was recently confirmed on BFMTV, who sent a message to the Minister of State in charge of Ecology Bérangère Couillard.
In a widely tweeted, LFI-Nupes deputy from Bouches-du-Rhône, Hendrik Davi, also proposed banning golf course irrigation. “In times of drought, swimming pools are not allowed to fill, but golf courses must reduce their consumption by 20% and water between 7 pm and 9 am. The 18-hole stadium needs 5,000 m3/day, or the consumption of 12,000 residents. What if we ban them too?“, he wrote. “57 circuit under water restrictions. More than 100 municipalities find themselves deprived of drinking water. During this time, exceptions are made to allow the wealthy to play golf. It’s really time to stop messing with your full potentialOutside French Socialist Senator Yan Chantrell jumped Sunday on Twitter.
If someone criticizesDiscounts“Golf courses are given, and watering them in times of drought is actually no exception. A national framework agreement was signed in 2019 between the French Golf Federation and the Ministries of Environmental Transformation, Sports and Agriculture, which provides for gradual measures to reduce water use, depending on four levels of restriction (vigilance, alert, extreme alert, crisis). Even on the threshold of the crisis – which today concerns 66 circles – it is possible to continue watering the greens, that is, the areas where the holes are, between 8 pm and 8 am, except in the case of a shortage of drinking water. But it must be irrigationTo what is absolutely necessary», and cannot account for more than 30% of the usual volumes.
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“1 to 2%” of the irrigated land surface
The measures recommended in this national framework agreement are at least those that must be included in the framework orders issued at the local level by governors. “Governors can take more restrictive measures if they see there are concerns about a drinking water shortage, or local conditions require it.‘We assure the Golf Association. Hence,’About twenty departments sometimes go so far as to ban watering golf courses in the event of a drought in their framework decreesays Maximilian Lambert, Environmental Project Manager at FFGolf. This is the case, for example, in Loire-Atlantique or Ille-et-Vilaine. Today due to drought,39 golf courses in France cannot be irrigated at all”, calculates the president of the federation, Pascal Grizot.
In some areas where regulations are more stringent, however, an exemption can be applied for by golf courses so they can irrigate. “But in municipalities where the population is supplied with water by tankers, the union requires golf courses not to apply for exemption‘,” Maximilian Lambert identifies. “We don’t want to compete with the agricultural sector either.‘ adds Pascal Grizot.
As for the golf salads, it was also emphasized that a very small part of the land remains irrigated in case of drought. “Then only the greens are watered, which is necessary for the survival of the cycle. It only accounts for 1 to 2% of the total golf course area“, we explain to the union, thus indicating that”The minimum need for greens to survive on an 18-hole golf course in high temperatures is 100 to 120 cubic meters per dayBecause in total, the association estimates that the average annual national water consumption for an 18-hole golf course is 50,000 cubic meters per year. No.so far“Among those given by LFI Deputy Hendrik Duffy, FFGolf notes. The actual annual consumption of the golf course is already”36.5 timesLess, it is indicated.
“We support golf courses so that they invest sustainably in rational water management.”
Maximilian Lambert, Environmental Project Manager at the French Golf Federation
This represents the annual consumption of about 950 people. Even if this is not insignificant, it remains very limited compared, for example, to the needs of agriculture (3.4 billion cubic meters of water consumed each year, i.e. 45% of the total consumption in France). In FFGolf, it has been determined that Hendrik Davi’s data is from a Senate report dated 2002, whose figures date back to 1992 and come only from the perimeter sites of the Rhône Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency.
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15,000 jobs at stake by union
Moreover, if”90% of golf courses use water unfit for human consumptionMaximilian Lambert emphasizes that progress remains to be made on the origin of irrigation water. As the Federation acknowledges,Only 20% of golf courses benefit from supplies that can be considered “sustainable”: rainwater collected and stored in reserves, raw water from large irrigation canals, water recycled by treatment plants“.a topic the union says it is working on.”We accompany golf courses so that they invest sustainably for rational water management. 15 million euros of projects have been provided to water agenciesMaximilian Lambert explains.
The water issue is great as per the power. “Lack of irrigation leads to green deathFederal Spokesperson Reports. which leads to “Structure closure and operating loss for 6 months until spring of the following year“, Union reports that put forward economic arguments.”The sector we defend represents more than 1.5 billion euros of turnover in France and provides 15,000 jobs, including 7,500 direct jobs in this field.“She explained. In spite of everything,” says Pascal Grizot.We understand that it may shock the public that golf courses are watered“While some French people can no longer water their garden or fill their swimming pools.”But we do it with great nostalgia, and we make very great efforts to reduce consumption.»
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